1. What Is Paternity
Paternity is the legal term for fatherhood. In Texas, paternity is automatically established if the parents of a child are married. However, When a child is born to parents who are not married in Texas, the law does not consider the child’s biological father to be a legal parent. Until paternity is established, a parent who is not married to the mother of their child does not have legal rights to his child.
2. How Is Paternity Established In Texas
In Texas, there are 3 ways that paternity can be established:
1. Marriage: When a couple is married and the husband is the biological father, paternity is automatically presumed. No additional steps are required to establish paternity for married couples in Texas.
2. Acknowledgment of Paternity: Parents who are not married can sign a legal form called the Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) if they both agree that he is the child’s biological father. The Texas Attorney General’s website provides a guide to paternity in Texas including all the information you need to know.
3. Court Order: Parents who aren’t married can acquire a court order declaring the child’s legal father through the Office of the Attorney General’s Child Support Division or by working with a lawyer.
3. What Are The Benefits Of Establishing Paternity
There are several benefits that come with proving paternity:
-It establishes a legal connection between father and child.
-Establishing paternity allows for the father’s name to appear on the child’s birth certificate.
-Child support, health care coverage, and various forms of medical support all require the establishment of paternity.
-It protects a child’s right to inheritance if the father were to pass away.
-The father’s family medical history may be accessed by the child.
-The court requires it prior to requesting custody, parenting time, or child support.